Ten tips for new non smokers
In my experience, lots of smokers plan to quit in the run-up to Christmas as the weather turns colder and darker. So why leave it till the New Year? Here are ten top tips to help you stay smoke-free once you've quit.
- Drink plenty of (non-alcoholic!) liquids. They will help flush the toxins out of your system
- Practice saying “No, thank you, I’m a non-smoker” aloud to yourself till it feels comfortable. Repeat it – and mean it - if you are offered a cigarette.
- Avoid anyone who thinks it's funny to tempt you to smoke, at least for a while. Sometimes friends and family are just teasing; they may not think you're serious about quitting, or even that if you are successful you will put them under pressure to quit too. If you can't avoid these people, explain to them how important this is to you, and suggest ways they could support you.
- Work out exactly how much you spent on cigarettes each year. Plan what else you will do with it.
- At first, spend some of what you would have spent on cigarettes on rewards for reaching the milestones: one day stopped, one week stopped, one month stopped and so on. Choose healthy treats like a massage, or video night!
- If you experience cravings, find something to do and distract yourself out of them. go for a walk, clean the kitchen cupboards or plan what you will do with the money you're saving. Tell yourself that each time you have a craving you are one step closer to the final one.
- If you miss having something to hold, take up doodling, word or number puzzles or even knitting.
- If you find your mouth feels “empty” without a cigarette, find a healthy replacement. Sports bottles of water are good because you have to suck them to get the water out.
- As a non-smoker, your senses of smell and taste will improve and you may be tempted to eat more. At meal times eat slowly, enjoying each mouthful. Between meals snack on raw vegetables, breads-sticks, fruit or other low-calorie snacks.
- If you need extra support, consider using complementary therapies (such as hypnotherapy) or asking your GP for help.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi-accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.
Researcher & drafter on these blogs: Rachel Waller.